Administration, funding and support

Commonwealth: Early Childhood and Care Relief and JobKeeper

On 2 April 2020, the Commonwealth Government announced the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package to be used in conjunction with the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme for eligible providers. 

On 8 June 2020, the Commonwealth Government confirmed the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) will restart from 13 July 2020.

For information about the transition arrangements for the end of the Early Childhood and Care Relief Package, visit the Commonwealth Government's Department of Education, Skills and Employment website.

More information about the package is available on:

In response to the Commonwealth package, OHSC providers are reminded to lodge a SA12 Notification of Change of Information About an Approved Service on the National Quality Agenda IT Service portalor contact licensed.childrens.services@edumail.vic.gov.au

JobKeeper package

On Monday 30 March 2020, the Commonwealth Government announced the JobKeeper package to support businesses and help keep workers in jobs.

The wage subsidy is available to eligible businesses with a payment of $1500 per fortnight for each employee for up to six months.

Visit the Commonwealth's JobKeeper webpage for more information.

Kindergarten funding

Existing funding

The Department will continue to provide all existing streams of kindergarten funding, including:

  • Early Years Management
  • School Readiness Funding
  • Kindergarten Inclusion Support
  • Preschool Field Officer funding.

If services have to close due to coronavirus (COVID-19), service providers will still receive all of their regular kindergarten funding based on their confirmed enrolments for 2020. This includes Early Start Kindergarten enrolments.

Under the agreement between the Department and kindergarten services, funding can only be used for the purposes for which the funding is given (for example, kindergarten program costs such as staffing).

Funding for programs that support kindergarten participation, including Access to Early Learning and Best Start, will also continue in full for all sites. The Department recognises that some program activities will need to be paused or adapted given current circumstances.

Additional funding

Term 3

The Victorian Government announced it will provide support for sessional funded kindergarten services in Term 3, as part of up to $45 million in extra support for kindergarten services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The funding will reduce the cost to parent/carer(s), and will support services by providing $230 per child for each fee-paying enrolment in an eligible kindergarten program. This is expected to save parent/carer(s) approximately half the cost of average fees.

This funding will be available to the following providers offering sessional funded kindergarten programs:

  • not-for-profit community-based providers
  • local government providers
  • school providers.

To be eligible for the funding, services must:

  • not be covered by the Commonwealth’s JobKeeper program
  • pass on the cost savings to fee paying families
  • charge less than $1000 a term for a 15-hour per week program
  • be open (unless instructed by DHHS to close)
  • maintain pay and conditions for regular staff delivering the funded kindergarten program.

Sessional kindergarten programs remain free for eligible children through the Kindergarten Fee Subsidy. This includes children whose families identify as Aboriginal, hold a Commonwealth Health Care Card and other concession cards, or hold a refugee or asylum seeker visa. For full details refer to the Kindergarten Funding Guide.

Service providers wishing to request this support should contact the Department at kindergarten.funding@edumail.vic.gov.au

More information is available in the kindergarten funding fact sheet:

Term 2

During Term 2 the Victorian Government provided close to $500 per child in a funded kindergarten program (excluding those that already attract a Kindergarten Fee Subsidy or Early Start Kindergarten), based on the annual number of children enrolled through the Kindergarten Information Management (KIM) system.

The service will need to remain open (unless directed by DHHS or agreed with us), however this will apply to enrolled children whether they are attending the service or not.

The funding was available for community-based, local government and school providers that offered government-funded sessional programs.

The funding was provided for government-funded kindergarten programs: Four-Year-Old Kindergarten, and funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten, where this has been introduced in regional Victoria.

Kindergarten Inclusion Support and Preschool Field Officers

There is no impact on funding for either Kindergarten Inclusion Support (KIS) or Preschool Field Officer (PSFO) program and both remain available to support eligible children. Assessments of new applications for the KIS program are also progressing.

Funding for KIS additional assistants is continuing, even where a child with additional needs is not currently attending a service. In these circumstances, the kindergarten service, KIS providers and KIS additional assistants should work closely to agree how the additional assistants can be engaged to support learning from home programs.

Preschool Field Officers (PSFOs) may still visit a service using appropriate risk mitigation strategies. PSFOs can also use video conferencing if remote delivery is agreed.

Early childhood initial teacher education support

Placements are an important component of initial teacher education (ITE) as they help pre-service teachers develop essential capabilities. For some students and services, the ability to undertake placements is impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19). This has an impact on individual students and the supply of new graduates into the profession to work in services in the future.

The Department recognises the value of pre-service teachers in delivering and supporting essential services and operations, and we encourage student placements to continue where this is safe and possible, in line with placement protocols, mentor teachers' directions and the advice provided by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.

To support this to occur safely, we have developed a safety and wellbeing factsheet to prepare pre-service teachers for placements during this time.

The Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) has modified the supervised professional experience requirements for final year early childhood students in 2020. Visit the ACECQA website for more information. 

Reminder to complete annual confirmation

Service providers are asked to complete their Annual Confirmation and submit Early Start Kindergarten enrolments through the Kindergarten Information Management (KIM) system as soon as possible. As per normal practice, new Early Start Kindergarten enrolments can be added any time. 

If a child is enrolled in the kindergarten program but not attending because of parent concerns about coronavirus (COVID-19), they should still be included in the annual confirmation.

Assessment and rating review processes and reports

The process for sending out reports to services and for services to lodge reviews will continue where possible.

No service will be disadvantaged in accessing their normal review processes.

Where possible, we'll continue to progress the completion of assessment and rating reports currently in progress.

If this is not possible, we'll extend all process timelines accordingly.

Assessment and rating visits

To make sure resources are best focused on responding to and managing coronavirus (COVID-19), we're postponing all assessment and rating visits until further notice.